New Year’s ‘pop the cork’ effect

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT

“Happy New Year”!

Every year at the stroke of midnight, we exclaim these words as we pop the cork on bottles of champagne. While the party-goers are busy toasting and watching the ball drop from New York, a very critical phenomenon is happening within the champagne bottle. Having finally been allowed to release its pressure once the cork has been dislodged, the contents thrust forward with great power, a veritable fountain of bubbles. But moments later, usually by about 12:07 a.m., the champagne has lost much of its carbonation, and its exuberance grows flat in the half-empty glasses strewn about the coffee table.

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So it would seem with many of our goals and resolutions. Moments before the clock shows 12:00, we are busy enumerating our intentions for the coming months; we are filled with such enthusiasm, veritably bubbling over with positive energy much like the champagne we are about to enjoy. The good intentions may even carry us through to mid-February. Yet somehow, just as the champagne loses it fizz, we often slow down our frenetic pace in terms of our New Year’s resolutions. Fitness goals especially have a way of going flat, once the reality of the workload and time commitment really kick in.

So, what is the answer to this dilemma? Speaking for myself, I enjoyed iced green tea this past new year’s eve, albeit in a beautiful wine glass — yes, I was the “designated driver”! Was midnight any less impactful without the spontaneity of the champagne bubbles? Not one bit! In terms of new year’s goals, our intentions are no less meaningful if they are set forth with reasonable amounts of energy and careful planning. Others will still take us seriously even if we don’t begin the year with a BANG In the gym. Making it there is a great first step, whether it is for a two-hour cardio session or 15 minutes on the recumbent bike.

This January, avoid the “pop the cork” effect and be kind to yourself with your fitness resolutions. You’ll be amazed at your tenacity when you begin strategically. Months into this calendar year, when others have lost their “fizz,” you’ll be steadily moving along in the right direction.